EU leaders work from home, remember, wash your hands with loads of foam, and Trump clamps down on desire to roam.
Welcome to Euractiv’s EU Tweets of the Week, this week it’s a Corona special, we’re hoping it goes viral!
But laughter is the best medicine… apart from well, actual medicine. But if you are self isolating we hope this cheers you up!
On the day that the World Health Organisation declared the new Coronavirus COVID19 to have reached pandemic scale, Euronews asked: What’s the psychology behind toilet paper hoarding?
— euronews (@euronews) March 12, 2020
I haven’t watched it but I’d hazard a guess it has something to do with working from home.
… something EU leaders were attempting to do via a video-conference call with Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, EU Foreign Affairs High Rep Josep Borrell, ECB President Christine Lagarde and EU Council President Charles Michel.
👉Press Conference following the meeting in JL TBC ⚠️ pic.twitter.com/GkGkUKiGX7
— Barend Leyts (@BarendLeyts) March 10, 2020
Michel began by first expressing sympathy for all citizens affected by the disease, in particular, in Italy.
Today we discuss how to improve coordination and work on common EU response. pic.twitter.com/VAUWqRIQFp
— Charles Michel (@eucopresident) March 10, 2020
But Nick Gutteridge spotted the perennial problem with remote working — So far on his Coronavirus conference call Council President Charles Michel has addressed a pair of curtains, a chair, and some flags.
So far on his Coronavirus conference call with EU leaders Council President Charles Michel is addressing a pair of curtains, a chair, and some flags. pic.twitter.com/1N5kJK4DUh
— Nick Gutteridge (@nick_gutteridge) March 10, 2020
But the FT’s Mehreen Khan quipped it’s quite an efficient way for leaders to hold summits, not least because you can put the French President on mute: “MacrON or MacrOFF”.
A n EU diplomat suggests teleconference is proving quite an efficient way for leaders to hold summits, not least because you can put the French President on mute: "MacrON or MacrOFF" 🔇
— Mehreen (@MehreenKhn) March 10, 2020
And as the Parliament did the same, Damon Wake tweeted: Wait, you mean the European Parliament doesn’t *need* to go to Strasbourg every month?!
Wait, you mean the European Parliament doesn't *need* to go to Strasbourg every month?! https://t.co/T7dk4ZGngY
— Damon Wake (@damonwake) March 10, 2020
Alongside teleworking, the coronavirus has also made us all experts in hand washing!
Shane Heneghan shared this image:
— Shane Heneghan (@shaneheneghan) March 11, 2020
On Monday, Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte told people not to shake hands and then turned around and promptly… Shook hands!
— Reuters (@Reuters) March 10, 2020
Thank god our prime minister is on the case, snarked one account.
— Unknown (@Unknown_NL) March 9, 2020
But Budget and Administration Commissioner Johannes Hahn had his own solution at the 20 Year Medal Ceremony. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you the #Hahnshake!
— Johannes Hahn (@JHahnEU) March 9, 2020
And they say the Commission doesn’t come up with quick solutions, said Kleopatra Sidiropoulou.
— Kleopatra Sidiropoulou (@Sidiropoulou_K) March 10, 2020
Twitter, not always the best source of reliable information in a crisis, did however rise to the occasion with the #WashYourLyrics hashtag. An accumulation of songs to help ensure you wash your hands for long enough!
— arcy, (@arciinnamonroll) March 10, 2020
On Wednesday night, US President Donald Trump announced a unilateral travel ban on flights from the EU… except the UK and Ireland.
Max Schrems said Trump manages to even be racist among white Europeans when banning everyone – but the Anglophone Countries!
*LOL* …Trump manages to even be racist among white Europeans (!) when banning everyone – but the Anglophone Countries – independent of #COVID19 rates.. 😂
— Max Schrems 🇪🇺🇦🇹 (@maxschrems) March 12, 2020
It seems Trump was determined only to exclude the Schengen zone, but as Ryan Heath pointed out Trump had managed to exempt those countries where he owns golf clubs!
— Ryan Heath (@PoliticoRyan) March 12, 2020
Otto English asked “What’s the logic in Trump suspending all flights from Europe but not the UK? Do our magical passports make us immune?”
What's the logic in Trump suspending all flights from Europe but not the UK? Do our magical passports make us immune?
— Otto English (@Otto_English) March 12, 2020
Even Trump’s own former homeland security advisor, Thomas Bossert, was skeptical: There’s little value to European travel restrictions. Poor use of time and energy. Earlier, yes. Now, we have nearly as much disease in the US as in Europe.
There’s little value to European travel restrictions. Poor use of time & energy. Earlier, yes. Now, travel restrictions/screening are less useful. We have nearly as much disease here in the US as the countries in Europe. We MUST focus on layered community mitigation measures-Now!
— Thomas P. Bossert (@TomBossert) March 12, 2020
Many pointed out that the limited travel ban only makes sense if there are no cases in the UK and Ireland… which of course there are.
Perhaps he’s channelling Abe Simpson.
— Jane 🖤⭐#KeepBritainKind 🌱✌️ (@localnotail) March 12, 2020
On Thursday morning, Shona Murray reported that Brussels was checking the fine print as Trump contradicted himself.
Break re #trumptravelban. EU source says Brussels is ‘discussing whether to retaliate’ in same vein.
However EU doesn’t introduce travel bans, it is for each country to decide – national competence to close borders.
Brussels checking fine print as #Trump contradicted himself.
— Shona Murray (@ShonaMurray_) March 12, 2020
Eventually VDL released a statement saying “The European Union disapproves of the fact that the U.S. decision to impose a travel ban was taken unilaterally and without consultation.”
Trump will be quaking in his boots said James Crisp sarcastically.
"The European Union disapproves of the fact that the U.S. decision to impose a travel ban was taken unilaterally and without consultation."
Trump will be quaking in his boots
Statement by President von der Leyen & President Michel on the U.S. travel ban. https://t.co/mtGoODFF0S
— James Crisp (@JamesCrisp6) March 12, 2020
The EU is not amused added Valentina Pop.
But seriously, do consider social distancing, remember to wash your hands and take sound medical advice from experienced and trusted sources… and of course join me again online next Friday!
Alexander Drechsel nominated our top #EUtweet of this week from none other than spoof account Martini Seltzermayr: Trying really hard to finalise our circular economy package but it keeps rolling away.
Trying really hard to finalise our circular economy package but it keeps rolling away
— Martini Seltzermayr (@mseltzermayr) March 11, 2020
If you spot a tweet that’s less groan-worthy send in your suggestions using the hashtag #EUTweets and we’ll give shout out to our favourites every Friday!